From divorcee to royalty! Queen Consort Camilla had a winding journey before she was able to settle down with King Charles III.
Before meeting the future monarch, Camilla (née Shand) studied in England, Switzerland, and France. Her future changed when she became a debutante in London’s high society in 1965 and one of her friends introduced her to Charles. The pair began to date in the 1970s before he had to leave for his Royal Navy service. While Charles served his country, Camilla moved on with Andrew Parker Bowles. When the royal returned from his military service, he learned Camilla was engaged.
In July 1973, she wed the British Army officer. The duo welcomed two children, son Tom in 1974 and daughter Laura in 1978. Charles, for his part, moved on with Princess Diana in 1981 and shared sons Prince William and Prince Harry, who were born in 1982 and 1984, respectively.
While married to their respective partners, Charles and Camilla allegedly began to rekindle their romance in secret. In December 1994, Camilla and Parker Bowles split after 21 years of marriage. Their divorce was finalized in March 1995. Charles and Diana, for their part, separated in 1992 amid speculation of marital issues — and allegations of infidelity on both sides. Their divorce was finalized in 1996.
Diana seemingly hinted at Charles’ affair with Camilla in 1995 during her infamous interview with BBC’s Panorama. “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” the late Princess of Wales quipped as to why she and Charles didn’t last.
In 1997, Diana tragically died in Paris in a car crash along with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul. Two years after the accident, Camilla and Charles went public with their relationship. While the duo faced scrutiny from the outside world at the time, they ultimately won over the family.
“It was horrid. It was a deeply unpleasant time and I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through it,” Camilla reflected to the Daily Mail in May 2017 of the early days of her relationship with Charles. “I couldn’t have survived it without my family.”
The pair later got engaged in February 2005 and tied the knot in a civil ceremony two months later. After their nuptials, Camilla assumed the role of Duchess of Cornwall and began her tenure as a working member of the royal family.
Prior to Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the late monarch announced in February 2022 that her daughter-in-law would earn the title of Queen Consort when Charles ascended the throne. When the announcement was made, Camilla shared she was “very honored and very touched” by the queen’s endorsement.
Following Elizabeth’s death in September 2022, both Charles and Camilla assumed their new titles.
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Keep scrolling to revisit Camilla throughout the years: